Solar Eclipse Over Chile
The moon takes a bite out of the sun Sunday over the seaside town of Valparaiso, Chile, during a partial solar eclipse. The photographer created the effect by shooting the top part of the picture through a piece of exposed x-ray film.
During a total solar eclipse, the moon passes completely between Earth and the sun, casting a circular shadow over the planet. On the ground, viewers in the full shadow's path—aka the path of totality—see the moon cover the sun's disk for several minutes. Only the sun's faint upper atmosphere, or corona, remains visible.
The full effect of Sunday's total solar eclipse was visible to just a few people along a narrow, 155-mile-wide (250-kilometer-wide) band of the Pacific Ocean. Starting north of New Zealand, the path of the moon's shadow swept over a few remote islands—including the Chilean territory of Easter Island (Isla de Pascua)—and ended over the southernmost tip of South America.
Sky-watchers flocked by the thousands to Polynesian islands or booked passage on cruise ships to see the total solar eclipse. Viewers in Valparaiso, 75 miles (121 kilometers) northwest of Santiago, were among those in the Pacific Basin and in South America able to see a partial eclipse.
—with reporting by Andrew Fazekas
Solar Eclipse Photos: Easter Island, Other Sites Darken
The stone heads of Easter Island were among "witnesses" of a total solar eclipse Sunday. Earth won't see another like it until 2012.